Veggie Sloppy Joe
Just call me your school lunch lady today (minus the hair net, of course). I actually have a clear memory for some things from elementary school. Take for instance, the black bench. It sat in the principals office and was where kids who misbehaved were sent. You feared being sent to the black bench. However, I’m proud to say I never sat there. Really! I also remember my sweet, fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Abby, who was likely in her 60s but would play hopscotch with us on the playground. I dont remember any of the lunch ladies but I do remember my favorite lunch—the sloppy Joe. I think sloppy joe day was Fridays. I’m not sure. However, I do remember I loved them. Today the idea of a sloppy joe from a school cafeteria seems pretty unappealing, but back then it was my favorite meal. (I also loved my school’s cornbread. Go figure.)
I hadn’t eaten a sloppy joe since those days at Southwest School. And I know for sure Scarlett had never had anything like it until I found this recipe in the Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook. This vegetarian option of the classic meat belly bomb made me lust for that messy, satisfying Friday lunch meal. Or was it Thursdays?
Photo By Maya Visnyei
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped red pepper
- 3 cups cooked black beans
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shaved cheddar
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and peppers.
Saute until the vegetables are softened.
Add the beans, tomato sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, cumin, paprika and salt.
Simmer fro 15 minutes.
Serve on toasted whole grain bun and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
I have to admit Scarlett was a bit turned off at first by the dish. She thought it was too messy and hard to eat. Once I explained to her that the point of it was to be messy, she got really into it. It was probably a little too enthusiastic about it since the stuff was all over my banquet cushions.
Honestly, this is a great dinner as well because it comes together super fast. I also like the idea of being able to send kids to school with it for lunch. Place the hot sloppy joe mixture in a thermos and put a sliced, multi-grain roll in a plastic sandwich bag. It can be assembled at school with some fresh, shaved cheddar. A few carrots on the side and they’ve got a warm, healthy lunch any day of the week.
This post was originally posted on December 1, 2011.
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